Monday, 18 June 2012

Maligned Youth

Saturday 16.06 2012    Hainburg – Asvanyraro  (Hungary)  79kms
My apologies to the Hungarians for not having the facility to add in all the accents that are due to Asvanyraro. Nonetheless we did make it into Hungary having passed briefly through Slovakia. Bratislava was an unexpectedly attractive city. I am not sure what we expected, but having passed from Germany to The Czech Republic last year and observed such a change in the urbanisation, we had expected something similar. In fact, Bratislava was as tidy as Austria! The waterfront had been updated and now sported a very modern look. There was not one, but two paths following the river!- one for skaters of whom there were loads, all at various levels of skill, and the other for bikes. You were a bit outnumbered if you were merely walking. We seem to have lost much of the silver brigade though; most of these participants were only in their twenties and thirties. I’m sure we shall find the ancients somewhere. The enterprising set had installed a great number of watering holes which sold mostly drinks, and most of those were beer. It seems you don’t need to eat to keep fit.
In a short time we had crossed another invisible border and we were in Hungary. The most challenging aspect of Hungary thus far has been getting to grips with the currency which deals in such huge figures – one Euro is about 300 forints so a visit to the bank required some careful maths before deciding on the withdrawal. 45,000 seems a massive sum but it’s not, as those of you with the mathematical skill to manipulate the numbers, will realise.
It was a beautiful day with a cloudless sky and temperatures rising rapidly. As ever, there was a down side and today it was old nostril wind blowing at about 25 kms. It was like pedalling the last 50 kilometres with the brakes on! Does get a tad tiring. For reasons best known to all the hotels and guest houses I tried, they were all full. Either I smell very, very bad or they simply haven’t got all rooms operational. Bug….r them, we found a tinsy campsite and approached a number of youths to ask if we could pitch the tent. In short, the answer was yes but there would be a party going on but if we could put up with that, we were welcome. In the absence of any alternative, we accepted and up went the tent.
I have often maintained that youth is much maligned and has gained an unfair reputation. This evening, as we sat mulling over our instant pasta (which was actually okay), two of the party goers arrived with two bowls of Hungarian goulash with fresh bread. We accepted gratefully and a little while later the same two returned with two shot glasses and filled them with some Hungarian type schnapps. These gestures went a long way to compensating for the intermittent shouting which went on until dawn! I did sleep in between and Al snored quietly, unaware of any noise.

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